Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

For Simon Watson, life is about books.  Book and the sea. His family home, holding on to tragic history and childhood memories alike, is inching ever closer into the Long Island Sound where his mother drowned years earlier. His job at the library, a job he loves, is hanging on by a thread. But even so, he can’t bring himself to leave - because Simon is the one who stays.

Until one day, when he receives a book - a family artifact from a mysterious bookseller. It holds the story of a carnival, a fortune teller, a wild man with no voice, and a mermaid with secrets she can’t speak.  Suddenly, the tragic events of Simon’s family past don’t seem so random. The book has stories to tell. And Simon needs the answers before it’s too late.

Swyler creates a story that is rich and engrossing, switching between the characters and time periods seamlessly. It’s the kind of story that starts slow, but picks up intensity quickly - you feel Simon’s fear and frustration in trying to find the answers that will potentially save his sister (or himself).

By the end, you won’t be able to sleep either, until you know the truth.  With careful attention to detail and settings that practically jump off the page, The Book of Speculation is a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a book with the ever enticing draw of unraveling a family mystery.

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